New Zealand Registry Services (NZRS) the company that runs the .nz register, has begun implementing IPv6 "glue" in the register's database, says manager Nick Griffin.
IP version 6 is the latest standard, intended to replace the current IP numbering scheme (version four). Because IPv6 numbers are 128 bits long instead of IPv4's 32 bit length, IPv6 numbers are expected to provide new IP numbers for many years to come.
"The glue will allow registrants to put IPv6 number in to the SRS." The SRS (shared registry system) is the database that stores the .nz registrations and Griffin says by allowing users to begin experimenting with the IPv6 protocol, NZRS will be able to stay one step ahead of user demand.
"We didn't want to be caught by users wanting to use IPv6 and us not being able to provide services."
Griffin says the work has already begun and from now on, NZRS will only be buying IPv6 capable equipment.
"It's a bit of a moot point really because most of the routers and gear that we would be buying are already compliant; it's just that from now on it's a formal policy rather than ad hoc."
Griffin says part of the NZRS "charter" is its social role as well as its technical management role, as defined by its stakeholder, InternetNZ.
"We have to able to support InternetNZ's policies in this kind of area and this is one we can do that."
Griffin says this initiative isn't the first IPv6 work being carried out at a high level, but it's one of the earliest.
"I believe the boys at the peering exchanges are doing some work there to allow operators to test out IPv6 transfers and things of that sort."
Griffin doesn't expect to see a huge demand in the short term for IPv6 ready services but says he has "no doubt that will come" with time.
"We don't want to hold things up if someone does want IPv6 names".